William Burns, a veteran and respected U.S. diplomat, has been chosen by President-elect Joe Biden to direct the influential Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), CNN announced today.
Burns has served in a variety of positions around the world whose career started under the Ronald Reagan Administration and went on until Obama’s.
According to CNN, Biden said, confidently, that “with him as our next CIA director, Americans will be able to sleep soundly.”
Burns will be the first head of the famous intelligence, espionage and counter-espionage service to come from the State Department, which means that his profile is more suited to that of a diplomat than that of the traditional “hawk.”
For this reason, Biden himself argued that he is an “exemplary diplomat with decades of experience (…) who shares my deepest feeling that Intelligence should be apolitical and I believe that we owe its professionals gratitude and respect.”
“Bill,” as Burns is affectionately called, is an expert on Russia and has done a great deal of management work at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, a prestigious think-tank in Washington, DC.
His curriculum includes three decades of a diplomatic service that began in 1982, which took him to the U.S. Embassy in Jordan under Democrat Bill Clinton, and Russia under Republican George W. Bush.
Given the respect this man has among Democrats and Republicans, early analysts who have dealt with Burns expect him to be easily confirmed by the Senate.
CIA expert Melvin Goodman -thirty years in the House, explained that “Burns’ appointment will send a clear signal about the importance of public service, which has deteriorated in the last four years, and that will be important not only for the CIA but for the entire Intelligence community”; which is the espionage and counter-espionage services which, in the United States, are divided between FBI domestically, and the CIA abroad.